Apple's big San Francisco event will likely see the debut of the iPad 2, as a new report indicates the company is prepping to ship 40 million iPads in 2011.
Apple has high
hopes for its iPad franchise in 2011: According to a March 2 DigiTimes report,
the company is planning total shipments of 40 million iPads this year.
sources within Apple's supply chain, the publication also predicted that "Apple
internally plans to take deliveries of 6 to 6.5 million iPads, including the
iPad 2." Apple is widely expected to unveil the next-generation iPad at a San
Francisco event March 2.
April 2010 debut, the iPad has sold more than 15 million units. Pundits widely
expect the next version to include at least one camera, and possibly a
combination of front- and rear-facing ones. In addition, most seem to feel the
iPad 2 will feature a lighter and slimmer body, along with an upgraded
a largely unimpeded run of the consumer tablet space in 2010, Apple also faces
markedly ramped-up competition this year from a number of rivals, including
Samsung, Dell and Motorola. The latter is seeking to build momentum for its
recently released Xoom tablet, loaded with tablet-optimized Android 3.0 and an
Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. Those advances in competitors' technology
and reach, in turn, pressure Apple to produce a new iPad that maintains the
company's competitive lead.
"This event is
not to be taken lightly, as the iPad is an important growth driver for Apple,
and the company enjoys a first-mover advantage," Brian White, an analyst with
Ticonderoga Securities, wrote in a March 1 research note. "Assuming a new iPad
is unveiled at this [March 2] event, we believe Apple must make a convincing
case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to
pressures, White also said that Apple's application ecosystem and strong brand
recognition will allow the company to "outpace" its rivals in the near term.
report also suggested that Apple will begin emphasizing the next iPad at the
expense of the original model. "The sources pointed out that there were about 1
to 1.5 million units worth of iPad inventory in the channel in January," it
read, "and since Apple only ordered about 1.8 to 2 million iPads in January, it
indicates that Apple is already set to phase out the first-generation iPad and
let iPad 2 take its place."
event is set to kick off at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST March 2.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.